74 go forward for the 2015 Crabbies’ Grand National

There are 74 horses going forward for the £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree following today’s scratchings’ stage. Last year 73 went forward at this stage and 57 in 2013.

A maximum of 40 runners can line up for the 168th running of the world’s most famous jump race at 4.15pm on Saturday, April 11.

One of the main talking points this year is the participation of A P McCoy for the final time in the Crabbie’s Grand National, which he won on Don’t Push It in 2010.

At the moment, he is expected to partner the favourite, Shutthefrontdoor, who is owned by J P McManus and trained by Jonjo O’Neill in Gloucestershire. Shutthefrontdoor is 8/1 with Betfred, official betting partner of the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.

McManus retains the rider who is about to win his 20th and final jockeys’ championship.

McCoy will break another record if participating as expected in the 2015 Crabbie’s Grand National. Last year he equalled the record for the most rides in the race – 19, matching Tom Olliver, who was successful three times (1842, 1843 & 1853).

The weights continue to be headed by Lord Windermere (trained by Jim Culloty) on 11st 10lb. The nine-year-old won the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2014 and could bid to become only the third horse to win both races following Golden Miller and L’Escargot.

Six of the first seven horses home in last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National remain engaged, headed by the victorious Pineau De Re (Dr Richard Newland). The 2014 runner-up Balthazar King (Philip Hobbs), fourth Alvarado (Fergal O’Brien), fifth Rocky Creek (Paul Nicholls), sixth Chance Du Roy (Philip Hobbs) and seventh Monbeg Dude (Michael Scudamore) also go forward.

A P McCoy said: “The Grand National is the most famous horserace in the world and to be able to take part each year is very exciting.

“It was one of the greatest moments of my racing career to win the Grand National on Don’t Push It. I had 14 attempts before Don’t Push It came along. Jonjo (O’Neill) had him in unbelievable form and to win the Grand National for Noreen and J P McManus was amazing. It is a day I will never forget – I felt a lot of fulfilment.

“We have Shutthefrontdoor and the Cheltenham winner Cause Of Causes – they are two I am most likely to have to choose from. Shutthefrontdoor won the Irish National and has not run since winning at Carlisle in November. If you look through the form book, the Carlisle race and the Irish National were not particularly strong, but he is trained by Jonjo O’Neill who has an unbelievably good record in training horses for staying chases. If I am on Shutthefrontdoor, he has a very good chance.

“I have dreamt a lot in my life but I would not be silly enough to dream about winning the National again – it would be nice if it happened. Looking at the betting, the bookmakers seem to think it is going to happen and hopefully they are right.

“I am sorry for all the failures I have had in the Grand National over the years and this will be the last time I let anybody down but hopefully I will go out on a high and shut the front door behind me!

“Outside of the Grand National my favourite moment at Aintree was beating Istabraq on Pridwell.”

McCoy and other jockeys visit Alder Hey Hospital every year during the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival.

He added: “Going to Alder Hey is a very humbling experience. The staff, the nurses and the doctors do a fantastic job. You go there in the morning and it puts a lot of things into perspective.”

Rose Paterson, Chairman of Aintree Racecourse, said: “We have made a few innovations this year which we hope will enhance the Carnival atmosphere and give our racegoers the most fantastic time. We are also likely to have the classiest racing over the three days of the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival that we have ever had. I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to Halewood International for their stupendous generosity and enthusiasm.”

John Baker, Managing Director of Aintree Racecourse, said: “We have put a lot of our focus into Ladies Day (Friday, April 10) after it had fallen back a bit over a period of time.

“This year, with the help of Halewood International, Crabbie’s and Liverpool One, we are working hard on the day. This year’s prize for the style contest is a Mini Roadstar and also £6,000 worth of goodies from Liverpool One. The winner will be announced in the parade ring.

“Sales at the moment are tracking about 3,000 ahead which will get us up to an attendance of 45,000 to 46,000.

“It will be A P McCoy’s 20th Grand National ride, which is a record. I think he has a great chance of winning on Shutthefrontdoor. Whatever he rides will go off favourite and it would be a fairytale if he won.”

Peter Eaton, Deputy Chairman of Halewood International, said: “We have lots of good memories from our first year of sponsorship last year. It has generated more awareness of Crabbie’s internationally and certainly put Crabbie’s on the map. The sponsorship of this great race touches everybody around the world.

“We joined with Help For Heroes to try and raise over £1 million for the charity. I am really excited that we are going to give them a global reach. It is so important we have this social responsibility at Aintree, Halewood International and Crabbie’s.”

Andrew Tulloch, Clerk of the Course at Aintree Racecourse, reported the course in good condition and described the going as currently Good to Soft, Good in places on the National Course and Good, Good to Soft n places on the Mildmay & Hurdle Courses. Rain is forecast next week but watering may be necessary at some point.

Last year’s winning trainer Dr Richard Newland said: “Winning the Crabbie’s Grand National last year with Pineau De Re was absolutely awesome.

“I think Pineau De Re’s form is OK – it has been a different campaign. Last year, we had to get in the race and so we raced him a lot to get him qualified.

“This season we have always known he was going to be in the race and we have been trying to get him there in one piece. We have deliberately gone slowly, slowly. I think at one stage, I was going too slowly, slowly. I have been happy with his last two runs – not many National winners are running in the Pertemps Final over hurdles and he is twice the age of most of runners and giving weight away.

“I have a phone call to make later on after Many Clouds, who Leighton (Aspell – winner on Pineau De Re) rides, was left in the national.

“We have said to Leighton it is his ride if he is available. So many things can go wrong and it is pointless getting too bothered about the situation. Our horse is not a hard ride and we will find a jockey.

“It was astonishing the reaction locally in Worcestershire after we won last year – most people seemed to have backed him. The Grand National is such a massive event. Why not back him this year.

“Pineau is a superb horse and it is a great privilege to train him. I am sure he will run a very good race.

“My other horse Royale Knight is not guaranteed a run yet. He is a super horse. We don’t know whether he is up to this grade as he has never taken on horses of this quality before. Long distance races seem to suit him and he has been prepared for the race. He is in good form and we will definitely give it a shot if he gets in.”

John Provan, the owner of Pineau De Re, declared: “It has been very busy since winning last year – we have had lots of press and phone calls, with people from all over the world and lots of relatives congratulating us.

“The preparation has been different this year – we were a bit behind but have caught up now. We are hoping Pineau De Re is a four and a half mile horse – at three miles he is very beatable but at four and a half miles he has never been beaten. We go there again trying to make history.”

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies, an Ambassador for Aintree Racecourse, said: “I owe a lot to Hello Bud for being the perfect introduction over the National fences. He loved them and was a stone better there than over regulation fences.

“It did not work out for me on Tidal Bay last year but I will give it another go this year on Rocky Creek who schooled well yesterday. He is in great order and you need a bit of luck.”

Phil Smith, Head of Handicapping at the British Horseracing Authority who was responsible for framing the weights, said: “Whenever you have a Gold Cup winner as top-weight as there is in Lord Windermere you are pretty happy.

“Unusually, there is a four-week gap between Cheltenham and Aintree this year which has encouraged trainers to run their horses at Cheltenham and be confident they have plenty of time to recover.

“Rocky Creek won at Kempton about five weeks ago and he would be 9lb higher if I could change the weights. Rubi Light won a veterans’ chase in Ireland about 10 days ago and he would be 7lb higher.

“The Druids Nephew won at Cheltenham and has gone up 10lb. Soll is 7lb higher, Broadway Buffalo is 4lb higher, The Package, another Cheltenham winner, is 10lb higher and Goonyella, who won the recent Midlands National, would be 10lb higher. They are main horses who are well in and David Pipe, who is obviously a very shrewd trainer, has three horses who are ahead of the handicapper.

“There are more of these well-in horses than I can remember and the cut-off point to get a run in the race will be around 10st 1lb.”

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls, who has six going forward for the Crabbie’s Grand National, said: “Silviniaco Conti is on target for the meeting. As far as the Grand National goes, Unioniste’s form looks a whole better as he was third to Coneygree – we have obviously trained him for the Grand National and he is an improving horse. The trip will suit him as long as there is plenty of cut in the ground. He and Rocky Creek have been trained specially for the race and we missed Cheltenham.

“Sean Bowen is lined up for Mon Parrain, Nick Scholfield will ride Sam Winner, Sam (Twiston-Davies) is obviously on Rocky Creek, Noel Fehily is riding Unioniste, Ryan Mahon may ride Rebel Rebellion and I will sort the other one(s). Rocky Creek was very impressive at Kempton and he is in a better place this season. He and Unioniste are the main two but you never know – all of them deserve to run in the National.”

Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins said: “I hope to have a bigger than normal team for the Crabbie’s Grand National Festival but have only one left in the Grand National, Ballycasey. I think the spring ground will be better for him and his breeding suggests he will stay the trip. I am looking forward to running him there.

“All our Champion Hurdle horses will be entered in the Aintree Hurdle along with Annie Power who has been in good form since Cheltenham. Boston Bob will probably go the Melling Chase while I have entered a few in the Topham.”

Crabbie’s Grand National – Betfred bet:

8/1 Shutthefrontdoor;

10/1 Rocky Creek;

12/1 Balthazar King, The Druids Nephew;

20/1 Cause Of Causes, Godsmejudge, Merry King, Spring Heeled, Unioniste;

25/1 Alvarado, Goonyella, Pineau de Re, Rebel Rebellion, Royale Knight, Soll, Teaforthree;

33/1 Al Co, Dolatulo, First Lieutenant, Lord Windermere, Many Clouds, Monbeg Dude, Night In Milan, Saint Are, Sam Winner;

40/1 Across The Bay, Benvolio, Chance du Roy, Corrin Wood, Court By Surprise, Double Ross, Gallant Oscar, Hadrian’s Approach, Home Farm, Wyck Hill;

50/1 Any Currency, Ballycasey, Broadway Buffalo, Carlito Brigante, Duke Of Lucca, Mon Parrain, Mountainous, Oscar Time, Raz de Maree, Renard, Super Duty, The Package, Vintage Star;

66/1 Alpha Victor, Baileys Concerto, Bob Ford, Gas Line Boy, Guess Again, Harry The Viking, Owega Star, Portrait King, Rigadin de Beauchene, Rubi Light, Standing Ovation, Sydney Paget, The Rainbow Hunter, Tranquil Sea;

100/1 Ballyoliver, Ely Brown, Glenquest, Ikorodu Road, Lackamon, Maggio, Mart Lane, Neptune Equester, River Choice, Rose Of The Moon, Tales Of Milan;

200/1 American Spin.

¼ 1-2-3-4. NON-RUNNER NO BET

Crabbie’s Grand National Specials – Betfred bet:

4/5 Winner to carry 11st or over;

Evs Winner to carry under 11st;

7/2 Irish-trained winner;

5/1 Paul Nicholls to train winner;

6/1 AP McCoy to ride winner; JP McManus to own winner;

10/1 Ruby Walsh to ride winner, Willie Mullins to train winner;

25/1 Female to ride winner.

WIN ONLY

The Crabbie’s Grand National
Grade 3, £1,000,000 Total Prize Fund. 4.15pm, Aintree, Saturday, April 11, 2015. Four miles, three and a half furlongs. For seven-year-olds and upwards which, up to and including March 23, have been placed first, second, third or fourth in a chase of three miles or more and which are allotted a rating of 120 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including February 15. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain or Ireland at closing may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible for a weight providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse’s racecourse performances up to and including February 15 would merit a minimum rating of 120. To qualify, horses must have run at least three times in chases run under the Rules of Racing of the same Recognised Racing Authority up to and including February 15. At the Handicapper’s discretion, such horses may be allocated a rating. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final. No penalties after publication of the weights. Entries closed February 3, entries revealed January 4 (98 entries – 1 subsequently scratched, 1 not qualified). Weights revealed Tuesday, February 17. First scratchings’ deadline March 3 (87 remained). Second scratchings’ deadline March 24 (74 remain). Five-day confirmation stage April 6. Final declaration stage 10.00am, April 9. MAXIMUM 40 RUNNERS

Horse Age Wgt Owner Trainer
1) LORD WINDERMERE (IRE) 9 11-10 Dr Ronan Lambe Jim Culloty IRE
2) MANY CLOUDS (IRE) 8 11-09 Trevor Hemmings Oliver Sherwood
3) SAM WINNER (FR) 8 11-08 Angela Yeoman Paul Nicholls
4) UNIONISTE (FR) 7 11-06 John Hales Paul Nicholls
5) ROCKY CREEK (IRE) 9 11-03 The Johnson & Stewart Families Paul Nicholls
6) FIRST LIEUTENANT (IRE) 10 11-03 Gigginstown House Stud Mouse Morris IRE
7) BALTHAZAR KING (IRE) 11 11-02 The Brushmakers Philip Hobbs
8) HOME FARM (IRE) 8 11-02 Chris Jones Henry de Bromhead IRE
9) SHUTTHEFRONTDOOR (IRE) 8 11-02 J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill
10) DOUBLE ROSS (IRE) 9 11-01 Options O Syndicate Nigel Twiston-Davies

11) HADRIAN’S APPROACH (IRE) 8 11-00 Richard & Lizzie Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson
12) PINEAU DE RE (FR) 12 11-00 John Provan Dr Richard Newland
13) BALLYCASEY (IRE) 8 10-13 Susannah Ricci Willie Mullins IRE
14) SPRING HEELED (IRE) 8 10-12 Dr Ronan Lambe Jim Culloty IRE
15) REBEL REBELLION (IRE) 10 10-12 Woodhouse, Sutton & Dobson Paul Nicholls
16) DOLATULO (FR) 8 10-11 Chasemore Farm Warren Greatrex
17) MON PARRAIN (FR) 9 10-11 John & Barbara Cotton Paul Nicholls
18) CARLITO BRIGANTE (IRE) 9 10-10 06 Zoo Ltd Karen McLintock
19) NIGHT IN MILAN (IRE) 9 10-09 Richard Collins Keith Reveley
20) RUBI LIGHT (FR) 10 10-09 Bill Hennessy Robert Hennessy IRE

21) THE DRUIDS NEPHEW (IRE) 8 10-09 The Stonehenge Druids Neil Mulholland
22) CAUSE OF CAUSES (USA) 7 10-09 J P McManus Gordon Elliott IRE
23) GODSMEJUDGE (IRE) 9 10-08 Favourites Racing (Syndication) Ltd Alan King
24) BENVOLIO (IRE) 8 10-08 Patricia Thompson Paul Nicholls
25) AL CO (FR) 10 10-08 Frank Lloyd Peter Bowen
26) MONBEG DUDE (IRE) 10 10-07 Oydunow Michael Scudamore
27) CORRIN WOOD (IRE) 8 10-07 Dermot Hanafin Robert Rose Ian Whitfield Donald McCain
28) THE RAINBOW HUNTER 11 10-07 May We Never Be Found Out Partnership Kim Bailey
29) TEAFORTHREE (IRE) 11 10-07 Conyers, O’Reilly, Roddis, Zeffman Rebecca Curtis
30) SAINT ARE (FR) 9 10-06 David Fox Tom George

31) ACROSS THE BAY (IRE) 11 10-06 Scotch Piper Syndicate Donald McCain
32) TRANQUIL SEA (IRE) 13 10-05 Jean & Clemmie Shipp Warren Greatrex
33) MERRY KING (IRE) 8 10-05 Frank Gillespie Jonjo O’Neill
34) OSCAR TIME (IRE) 14 10-05 Robert Waley-Cohen Robert Waley-Cohen
35) BOB FORD (IRE) 8 10-04 The Bob Ford Partnership Rebecca Curtis
36) SUPER DUTY (IRE) 9 10-04 Brannon, Dick, Hernon & Holden Ian Williams
37) WYCK HILL (IRE) 11 10-04 J P McManus David Bridgwater
38) GAS LINE BOY (IRE) 9 10-04 Mick Fitzgerald Racing Club Philip Hobbs
39) CHANCE DU ROY (FR) 11 10-04 Daphne Du Pre Philip Hobbs
40) ALVARADO (IRE) 10 10-03 William & Angela Rucker Fergal O’Brien

41) PORTRAIT KING (IRE) 10 10-03 Marie Davis Maurice Phelan IRE
42) OWEGA STAR (IRE) 8 10-03 Anthony Callan/Siobhan Callan Peter Fahey IRE
43) RIVER CHOICE (FR) 12 10-03 Fergus Wilson Richard Chotard FR
44) COURT BY SURPRISE (IRE) 10 10-03 Nick Mustoe Emma Lavelle
45) ELY BROWN (IRE) 10 10-02 Countrywide Vehicle Rentals Taxi Hire Charlie Longsdon
46) RENARD (FR) 10 10-02 ROA Arkle Partnership Venetia Williams
47) ROYALE KNIGHT 9 10-02 Chris Stedman & Robert Corsan Dr Richard Newland
48) DUKE OF LUCCA (IRE) 10 10-02 Lesley Field Philip Hobbs
49) SOLL 10 10-02 Derrick Mossop David Pipe
50) BAILEYS CONCERTO (IRE) 9 10-02 United Five Racing & Andrew Sayer Dianne Sayer

51) RAZ DE MAREE (FR) 10 10-01 James Swan Sandra Hughes IRE
52) THE PACKAGE 12 10-00 The Johnson Family David Pipe
53) BROADWAY BUFFALO (IRE) 7 10-00 Jo Tracey David Pipe
54) MAGGIO (FR) 10 10-00 Douglas Pryde & Jim Beaumont Patrick Griffin IRE
55) GUESS AGAIN (IRE) 10 10-00 Malcolm Denmark Tony Martin IRE

56) GOONYELLA (IRE) 8 9-13 Ann & Alan Potts Partnership Jim Dreaper IRE
57) GALLANT OSCAR (IRE) 9 9-13 Garrett Kelly Tony Martin IRE
58) SYDNEY PAGET (IRE) 8 9-13 Roger O’Byrne Donald McCain
59) VINTAGE STAR (IRE) 9 9-13 Trevor Hemmings Sue Smith
60) MOUNTAINOUS (IRE) 10 9-12 Walters Plant Hire & James & Jean Potter Richard Lee

61) ALPHA VICTOR (IRE) 10 9-12 Denton, Kinsey, Osborne Hse, Wesley-Yates William Kinsey
62) MART LANE (IRE) 10 9-11 Geoff Thompson Sophie Leech
63) IKORODU ROAD 12 9-11 John Odell Graeme McPherson
64) RIGADIN DE BEAUCHENE (FR) 10 9-09 Andrew Wiles Venetia Williams
65) HARRY THE VIKING 10 9-09 Jim Beaumont, Douglas Pryde & Quona Thomson Sandy Thomson
66) ANY CURRENCY (IRE) 12 9-09 Cash Is King Martin Keighley
67) BALLYOLIVER 11 9-08 Richard Britten-Long Venetia Williams
68) GLENQUEST (IRE) 12 9-08 Coolglen Syndicate Stuart Crawford IRE
69) STANDING OVATION (IRE) 8 9-07 The Bravo Partnership David Pipe
70) LACKAMON 10 9-07 Sue Smith Sue Smith

71) ROSE OF THE MOON (IRE) 10 9-05 Middleham Park Racing XXXIII & Partners David O’Meara
72) AMERICAN SPIN 11 9-03 George Collacott & R Gadd Luke Dace
73) TALES OF MILAN (IRE) 8 9-01 Phil Middleton Phil Middleton
74) NEPTUNE EQUESTER 12 9-00 Jim Beaumont Sandy Thomson

74 entries remain after March 24 scratchings deadline
15 Irish-trained
1 French-trained

THE FOLLOWING 13 ENTRIES HAVE BEEN SCRATCHED:
CARLINGFORD LOUGH (IRE), ROLLING ACES (IRE), ALDERWOOD (IRE), BOSTON BOB, SHOTGUN PADDY, THEATRICAL STAR, ROI DU MEE (FR), KATENKO (FR), LIVING NEXT DOOR (IRE), MAKE A TRACK (IRE), PRINCE DE BEAUCHENE (FR), CEDRE BLEU (FR), BUDDY BOLERO (IRE)

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